The phrase ‘burnout’ describes the collection of signs and symptoms, both psychological and physical, experienced by people due to their profession.
It is defined as the condition where professionals lose all matters and emotional feelings for their work colleagues and treat them in a dehumanised and detached way.
People often feel a sense of indifference, a lack of desire for personal achievement or depersonalisation.
The World Health Organization defines burnout as an “occupational phenomenon.”
It is described as “A syndrome conceptualised as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.
Stress is related to burnout but is not the same as burnout. Stress occurs when the individual’s ability to cope and deal with demands is exceeded. In controlled amounts, stress allows an individual to improve his/her performance, while burnout is a natural response to continued excessive stress without time or space for recovery.
In the era of this 24/7 connected world, it’s progressively becoming challenging to switch off from the office altogether.
In a recent study from Westfield Health, 17% of the people surveyed said they spent their annual leave worrying about work and 36% thought their employers expect them to be on standby.
What are the tell-tale signs of Burn Out?
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Has your partner, work colleague or friend advised you to slow down?
- Can you remember the last time you did some physical exercise and are you making enough time to eat a balanced diet?
- Do you ever feel guilty that you are not spending sufficient time with your family, or even yourself?
- Have you found yourself becoming increasingly emotional, such as crying, getting angry, shouting, or feeling tense for no apparent reason?
- Do you become angry or resentful about your work, colleagues, or clients?
If any of your answers are ‘yes’ to the questions, it might be time to change or seek assistance.
If you think you’re suffering from workplace burnout, the first step is to talk to your supervisor, line manager or workplace HR advisor.
While burnout isn’t classified as a mental health disorder, it can lead to more severe issues such as a breakdown in family life, stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, chronic fatigue syndrome and dependency on alcohol and drugs.
Employers have to promote staff health and well-being and ensure staff aren’t overstressed, work more than their contracted hours or reply to emails while on holiday, and heading towards burnout.
There are measures that we can all do to reduce our own risk of burnout such as, creating boundaries for your work, building your levels of resilience by learning to switch off, managing your workload and time so that you’re not working excessively from home all the time, taking breaks away from your desk during the day, participate in leisure and social pursuits, and spend with family and friends.
No matter what your profession, don’t allow your job to become the only way you define yourself.
Also, if your work is overwhelming you and making you dislike going into work, consider your options don’t allow your self-worth to deteriorate, take action and seek help immediately. You may even surprise yourself.
I typically help senior managers and business owners who are suffering from burnout. If you’re considering engaging in the services of a consultant or you’d like to learn more about how you can reignite your life and regain your competitive advantage, please feel free to get in touch and book your free 40-minute consultation.
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